Heed the wise words of famed floral artist and New York Flower School instructor Michael George and "shop the foliage." The leaves are a good indicator of the condition of a flower. Bright green, perky leaves signal a fresh bloom. If the leaves are yellow or falling off the stem, keep shopping. "One of the things you'll see in very cheap flowers is that they'll have their foliage stripped or wrapped in paper so that you can't see it," warns Johnson.